How to Dance in Ohio has partnered with the Autistic Theatremakers Alliance. The inaugural partnership event will take place January 25, with an extraordinary celebration of New York’s neurodivergent theatre companies.
The production will welcome Actionplay, EPIC Players, and The Neurodivergent New Play Series to the show, with an exclusive talkback discussing autistic representation on Broadway to follow. The performance will also feature ASL interpretation. The talkback will be moderated by Autistic Theatremakers Alliance Executive Director (and Playbill writer) Margaret Hall.
The Autistic Theatremakers Alliance (ATA) seeks to reduce stigma and increase inclusion of autistic persons in all aspects of theatre making and offer support and foster connections between autistic artists and the American theatre industry at large.
The non-profit is an alliance of autistic-friendly theatre companies and industry leaders dedicated to the mission of uplifting autistic individuals in the arts through institutional support. The ATA also provides resources for autistic artists in the form of grants and affinity events to foster community connections, plus resources regarding sensory-friendly performances and training.
For more information, about the January 25 talkback, visit AutisticTheatremakers.org.
Playing the Belasco Theatre, How to Dance in Ohio is directed by Sammi Cannold, with music by composer Jacob Yandura and a book and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik. The new show follows the challenges faced by a group of autistic young adults at an Ohio counseling center.
How to Dance in Ohio previously enjoyed a world premiere at Syracuse Stage in 2022. Much of that production's cast, which includes autistic actors in the seven principal roles, are reprising their performances for the Broadway run, including Desmond Edwards as Remy, Amelia Fei as Caroline, Madison Kopec as Marideth, Liam Pearce as Drew, Imani Russell as Mel, Conor Tague as Tommy, and Ashley Wool as Jessica. All seven make their Broadway debuts with the musical.
The cast also includes Caesar Samayoa (Come From Away) as Dr. Emilio Amigo, Cristina Sastre as Ashley Amigo, Haven Burton (Shrek) as Terry, Darlesia Cearcy (Shuffle Along...) as Johanna, Carlos L Encinias (Les Misérables), Nick Gaswirth (The Great Comet), Melina Kalomas, Martín Solá, Jean Christian Barry (Stranger Sings), Collin Hancock, Hunter Hollingsworth, Marina Jansen, Ayanna Thomas, and Marina Pires.
The creative team from the world premiere continued with the show to the Main Stem, including choreographer Mayte Natalio, music director Lily Ling, scenic designer Robert Brill, costume designer Sarafina Bush, lighting designer Bradley King, and sound designer Connor Wang. Orchestrations are by Bruce Coughlin, and Scott Rowen serves as production stage manager. Casting is by Benton Whitley and Micah Johnson-Levy of Whitley Theatrical. ShowTown Theatricals serves as general manager, and Mary-Mitchell Campbell is a music consultant.
To ensure authentic autistic representation on stage, the production also works with an accessibility team, including Autistic Creative Consultant Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt, Director of Community Engagement Becky Leifman, associate producer Jeremy Wein, production assistant Liz Weber, and script consultant Nicole D'Angelo.
Producers are P3 Production's Ben Holtzman, Sammy Lopez, and Fiona Howe Rudin; and Level Forward. The musical was originally developed with the late Harold Prince and is dedicated to his work on the project.